THE MASTER OF THE AWKWARD PSEUDO-PLEX, RANCID RATBUTT GARFUNKEL! #GOBLINWEEK
A quick-ish update about where you can get my stuff!
1. GALAXY OF THE DAMNED
I recently went about collecting the first (and so far only) volume of my webcomic GALAXY OF THE DAMNED, and it is now available on Kindle for $2.99.
Some notes: It may not have zoom capabilities depending on your Kindle device. However, it does seem to zoom fine on the Kindle app (and if anybody is having technical issues, PLEASE let me know here or at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can seek a fix).
Currently, Kindle is the only format it is in, but I will (eventually) look into ComiXology, although I’m not super impressed with their android/kindle app (my experience with the iOS app is limited, but people have told me it works much better, which is no surprise to me). But hey, why cut myself off from another avenue.
Mostly, I’m just trying this stuff out to see how it all works and know what my options are when I have future comics I want to put out there for handheld devices. I figured GotD is all done and ready-to-use, so what the hey. The comic will remain available in its original webcomic form at galaxyofthedamned.com for the moment, but I might take it down sooner rather than later. I don’t really know right now.
2. ATOMIC ELBOW ISSUE 7
I wrote an essay about Wrestling Superstar Virgil! You can read it in good guy Robert Newsome’s wrestling fanzine THE ATOMIC ELBOW ISSUE 7.
It’s print-only, with limited copies remaining. It’s a great zine that I’ve wanted to contribute to from the very moment I read the first issue. So I’m feeling pretty damn good about getting in there. Like wrestling? Like good, funny, thoughtful writing? Like cool comics and illustrations? Like Dusty Rhodes? Then what the hell are you waiting for, brother?
My pulp crime novella is currently still available on Kindle, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble as an e-book. Pick it up while you can, because I’m not sure how much longer it will be available.
4. This blog
I do believe that’s all the things to date. Meanwhile, I’ve cooled off on the Van Dammage Papers at the moment, but I’ll be back with some new one soon. For one thing, I sat down and watched The Quest, which is a really stupid movie about James Bond selling JCVD into kickboxing slavery, and it features James Remar, who I love because I can’t tell if he’s one of the best actors I’ve ever seen or one of the worst.
I’m also occasionally updating with new sketches and such. I came to the realization some weeks back that while my undisclosed day job is exhausting and I feel like I have less and less time to work on all of this stuff, it’s really important that I make the time to do it all, because this is the stuff that matters. As silly as it might sound, I feel it’s important that I explore really shitty Van Damme movies, that I draw fan art of Robocop teaming up with Sting, that I try to get back to making more comics and simply writing more of the shit that I am best at.
So thanks for reading my blog, buying my stuff, sharing my art, and being all around cool people, whoever you are.
Yours in Macho Madness,
It was as I began peeling away the plastic wrapper on the first of today’s packs that something hit me: I can’t take much more of this. I’m feeling my lowest, guys. I had a thought, back when I first came up with this sorta-daily bit, that this might happen. How little I knew, my friends.
I haven’t organized all the cards I’ve gone through just yet, so I don’t know if I have a complete set here, but it’s certainly starting to feel like I’ve seen all there is to see in this series. This is a card set consisting of 162 cards, with only 13 individual wrestlers, 4 tag teams (making that a total of 21 wrestlers represented), and 3 non-wrestling talents (two managers and an announcer). You’d think they would’ve tried to do more than just make 13 individual Sting cards, but alas, here we are with 13 cards devoted to the Stinger.
Now, I did a little research, and using Mike Rotunda (Mr. Wallstreet) as a marker, I was able to figure out that the period of time represented on these cards must be between roughly June 1990 and January 1991. I came to this conclusion upon learning that Rotunda turned heel and became Wallstreet in mid-1990, and then left WCW for the WWF in early 1991. By January 1991, any WCW rosters I can find online do not list Rotunda or Wallstreet.
If we can go off of this, we can determine during the period of time represented in this set, there were between 36 and 44 wrestlers on the WCW roster. Guys like Junkyard Dog, the Iron Sheik, the Nasty Boys, “Mean” Mark Callous (the Undertaker), and Vader. If you have Vader on your roster, why the hell do you not include him in a card set? Were there legal issues involved?
Now here’s what throws my theory about the time period into complete disarray: Dutch Mantell doesn’t show up on a WCW roster until March 1991. Now, if I am to believe the rosters I am finding online (which of course is risky, since it’s, you know, the internet), that means Dirty Dutch and Mr. Wallstreet weren’t even in WCW at the same time! Fuck!
So I don’t know what the hell was going on with these cards, obviously, but for some reason they only had 21 wrestlers they could use. That does not seem like a particularly good thing if you want to put out a set of trading cards.
Impel could’ve done something they had previously worked into the Marvel Universe trading card series by devoting cards to famous matches, or perhaps big feuds or stables or even showcased more of the non-wrestling talent, but instead this is what we got.
So I’m feeling it, friends. I’m feeling my lowest. I’ve seen it all! And if I haven’t, I have yet to encounter a sign that I’m wrong.
I can’t look at another card of Ricky Morton’s sad, disheveled face. I can’t handle another poor attempt to make El Gigante seem like a serious competitor. No more, I say. Please.
But I must finish opening this second pack. I have to.
Folks, while the title of this blog series is a clever joke referring to smoking cigarettes, I have to tell you that I’d rather risk lung cancer than open this pack of WCW cards. But here we go.
First, let me make a sacrifice to the deadly Black Scorpion, so that he may bring me good fortune in this pack…
Okay, pack opened… Nothing, nothing, nothing… wait.
It can’t be! It’s impossible!
Dutch Mantell, you sonufabitch! You magnificent bastard! You dirty scoundrel! You and your glorious poncho have saved me from certain doom, just so you can prolong the torture? To what end? To. What. End???
I will play your game, Dirty Dutch. But to defeat you, I must learn your secrets! I must become you!
“What’s in the bag????”
Like Brad Pitt in the climax of Seven, I howled those words while sitting in the passenger seat of the Lady’s Honda. It is with the same anticipation that I sit down to write this.
Let’s go back. We’ll go back to where it starts, as I stand in line at the local Dollar Tree with a stack of comic book “value packs” in hand (we’ll be visiting those in later posts). I gaze out at the store at the various racks near the registers. The one nearest is loaded with various trading cards and stickers, most of them outdated (which sometimes makes them awesome, like when I picked up some 1989 Donruss baseball cards, packs filled with Will Clarks and Ricky Hendersons), which at this point have little of interest aside from Dinosaur King cards (dude, a card game devoted to making dinosaurs fight? If I were still 9 and had friends that were into that thing I’d be all over that; hell, I will occasionally buy them just to have cool spinosaurus bookmarks). But I look further down the row and that’s when my eyes meet with the mystery. There they sit, in neat little rows: brown paper bags emblazoned with “GRAB BAG” and announcing on their fronts, “A Surprise for a BOY.”
I’m cheap. This is something you will learn about me, despite how much of a snob I may seem to be. I love a good deal, even if that good deal isn’t so good in the end. I could make an off-color remark about how it’s from my Hebrew blood, but in reality it’s because I’ve spent most of my adult life dirt poor. But I like treating myself, perhaps a little too much.
But they grab me, these “grab bags.” At just a dollar apiece, I can’t help but wonder what may lie within their brown paper wombs. What surprise might I, a BOY, find inside? Could it be baseball cards? A Batman hand towel? Plastic ninja stars? Cheaply made luchadores? For only a dollar, I could learn the secrets of the ominous GRAB BAG!
At this point the bag is krackling with mysterious Kirby energy for me. I step out of line and pick up the first one on the rack, front and center, and toss it on the conveyer belt with my sure-to-be-disappointing polybags of 90s Superman and 80s Justice Machine comics.
When I get back home, the Lady begs me to open the mysterious bag. She knows I plan to write about it, so she apologizes for her impatience, but I can’t blame her. The BAG has me in its MYSTERO-GRIP! I must discover its contents! For the sake of all mankind!
Funnily enough, the bag is only “sealed” with three measly strips of scotch tape. A poor seal for a man such as I (and I can only imagine the animalistic little boys that I’m sure run around the store on any other day easily busting this open and throwing their unearned prizes all over the shop).
But I open it. I peer in. What do I find? It’s hard to tell at first. I see an open blister card…
I reach in and find these items:
First, a whoopee cushion. Not too bad, right? I’m a jokester like any good manchild, so this could be of use, especially in the office. But then, upon closer inspection, I discover…
A HOLE IN THE WHOOPEE CUSHION.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Okay, okay, okay… perhaps this first prize is about as bad as we all imagined getting coal in our stockings would be when we were kids. I’m sure Prize #2 will be better.
Second item: a plastic periscope. Ripped from its package, but still in one piece and functional. I’m sure I’d at least have gotten a good afternoon of fun out of this when I was kid, before dropping it on the cement in our back yard and shattering it, cheap plastic strewn about the patio.
And it works, to some extent. It’s not particularly great (as you can see from the view through the scope, it’s a little distorted and limited in its scale, barely giving a full view of the official Mustachiosaurus Mascot, Prof. Redford von Puggins). But hey, it’s at least not broken.
And what else? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Honestly, I did end up with two $1 dollar items for the price of one, but both items were unpackaged, and furthermore, one of those two items was of no use since IT HAD A HOLE IN IT.
Now I wonder if all the “mysterious” grab bags at Dollar Tree are like this. I know, I know, what should I expect from a dollar store? Well, you know, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect toys that aren’t ruined already. Call me crazy!
Imagine if you’re a kid. Imagine you’re at the Dollar Tree with your mom, and this is your special treat for being a good boy or girl. And then you get a useless whoopee cushion. This is a crime against not just childhood, but THE ART OF COMEDY.
Alright. That’s all I got. I am going to fight the urge to go back to the store and buy ALL of the grab bags to see if they all suck. And you know, I’ll be okay, because ONE, I’ve got plenty of comic book “value packs” to sort through (for entertainment purposes, and I don’t mean enjoying some good comics), and TWO, because, well, it’s a fucking dollar store. What should I expect?
Keep on mustachin’